By Shery Aabdelmalak
“And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire, a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:11-13 | God, why are You Hiding?
An exploration of The Purpose Podcast, featuring Dr. Samuel Kaldas. [Listen Now]
God, sometimes I just wish You were right in front of me. Sometimes I wish that when the seas of anxiety overwhelm me, you’ll show up and calm the storms before my eyes.
But then I remember when Elijah wanted to see You. “And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire, a still small voice.” – 1 Kings 19:11-13
Could it be that it was my mistake, or could it be that it because He was never really there all along? God, why are You Hiding?
God, were You taunting Elijah? When I am afraid, why can’t You come to me in that moment, why do I have to wait for the still, small voice?
It is in the depths of despair that I question the existence of God. I’m not the first to feel abandoned by God, King David felt it, too. I won’t be the first and I definitely won’t be the last.
Throughout history, God has seemed hidden for reasons I won’t always fully understand. God withdraws as a result of sin but other times, I just don’t know why He seems to be hiding from me. Could it be that it was my mistake, or could it be that it because He was never really there all along?
If He is really God, then He is more than a figment of my imagination, so I won’t always be able to predict His ways. Instead of questioning if He is real in these moments, the reality is that if I cannot predict His ways, then I know that He is higher than me. My mind and my thoughts are not more capable that God’s.
When I feel abandoned by God, is it me who has really abandoned Him? Did I get too accustomed to being the god of my life that when times are tough, I feel like God has left me? God could never really leave me. Nothing in my relationship with God has changed, but it has something else that I hold dear in my life that has. I am not missing God, it is the career, the boy, the girl, the aspect of success that I feel I must have if God really was real and loved me the way He says He does.
I was always disconnected from God but I didn’t realize until the things that I used to anesthetize my soul were taken away from me. My sense of how much I need God only became known when all else was stripped away. My false sense of security was taken away and I was left to find where God stood in my life.
God, why have You forsaken me? God, why are You Hiding?
If I lose my job and I cry out, “God, why have You forsaken me?” It wasn’t God that forsook me, it was the job I lost. If I lose something that was never attributed to God that I relied so heavily on, then we must first realize that all in this world will let us down. God will never let us down, and we can trust in this as fact. As soon as we begin to rely on things other than God and think that they were sent by God, then we will be let down and question God’s providence.
Consistently the worst place to be in the New Testament was the position of the Pharisees. The Pharisees thought they were the closest to God, when in reality, they could not be further from Him. The tax collectors were thought to be rightfully crying out for mercy since they were believed to be the furthest from God. Jesus says that one will go home justified and one will go home condemned and it is not in the order we expect it to be in.
The one that felt the need to cry out for mercy was the one that knew their humanity and their own fallibility compared to God’s infallibility. We can take great comfort in recognizing our position before God.
It is difficult to ignore the external, but there is joy in knowing that hardship is our opportunity to reconcile our hearts with our Creator. Shery Aabdelmalak | God, why are You Hiding?
God doesn’t make bad things happen so that we draw closer to Him. This is the nature of the unreliable world we live in. But when this does happen, it gives us great opportunity to take a step back and realize what is happening inside us. If all was well internally, the external wouldn’t matter. It is difficult to ignore the external, but there is joy in knowing that hardship is our opportunity to reconcile our hearts with our Creator.
He gives me a glimpse of His love to keep pushing forward until the seeds that I can’t see bloom into the flowers that I could never imagine. Shery Aabdelmalak | God, why are You Hiding?
Abandonment is a real experience, Christ felt it too, on the Cross. These are no different to Christ’s death on the Cross, or His feeling of hunger, or feeling tired. He was fully human, and everything we feel, He felt too. The difference is that sometimes it is our sin that causes us to feel disconnected from Christ. In the case of Christ, it was always Christ taking the experience upon Himself as a way of uniting with us.
In my moments of abandonment, I cry to the Lord and beg Him to reveal Himself to me, knowing that Christ did the same in the Gethsemane. I know that when I call out in desperation, the Lord will be near, even if I don’t see Him. When a seed is planted, most of its growth and maturation occurs below the surface. God is working in me internally in the places where I can’t see, but every now and then, He gives me a glimpse of His love to keep pushing forward until the seeds that I can’t see bloom into the flowers that I could never imagine.
Delivered to you by COPTICNN™ | Coptic News Network on 2020-12-22 from Sydney, Australia.
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